A source told the Tribune that Davis is out this week following the death of a close family member and he has been doing his best to tend to personal issues while continuing to work.
The family matter is a likely reason the right guard did not practice Sept. 6, before the season opener, and might be one reason in addition to an injury that he missed some time during training camp.
“He’s gone through a couple things,” general manager Ryan Poles said Aug. 30 after the team established an initial 53-man roster. “I will say when he has gone, it’s everything that we saw on tape before, so I’m confident we’re going to be in a good place.
“As coach said the other day, in football, you do have to play football, you’ve gotta practice football, and he’s doing well now. But knocking that rust off and getting going, that’s going to be the key thing. We’re heading in the right direction.”
Left guard Teven Jenkins is on injured reserve with a right calf injury and the team adjusted by moving center Cody Whitehair to his position and inserting Lucas Patrick at center. It remains to be seen how the Bears will adjust against the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Ja’Tyre Carter could be the next man up at right guard for his first NFL start after spending a lot of time in training camp and preseason running with the first unit. Veteran Dan Feeney is another option.
Davis was signed to a $30 million, three-year contract in free agency and he’s considered a strong run blocker. He struggled with pass protection in the 38-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers, but those issues were almost across the board for the line.
The Bears liked him because he is a powerful mover in the run game and comes from a similar ground attack in Tennessee.
The Buccaneers present a challenge because they have always been aggressive up front under coach Todd Bowles. They blitzed quarterback Justin Fields on more than 31% of his dropbacks during a 2021 meeting at Tampa Bay. The Bucs will be without defensive lineman Calijah Kancey, a first-round draft pick this year who will miss the game with a calf injury, and cornerback Carlton Davis (toe) and linebacker SirVocea Dennis (hamstring).
The Bears will also be without their top two nickel cornerbacks. Kyler Gordon (broken right hand) was placed on injured reserve and Josh Blackwell (hamstring) has been downgraded to out. That leaves Jaylon Jones and Greg Stroman as options.
Coach Matt Eberflus announced Friday that defensive coordinator Alan Williams will miss the game for personal reasons. Eberflus will assume the responsibility for calling the defense.